Does Running Help You Lose Weight

by | May 17, 2012 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

Does Running Help You Lose WeightAny form of exercise including running (not running for the Presidency), will help you lose weight. However, whether you should run or walk or indulge in some other form of exercise will depend on the current state of your health.

For those who can and wish to run, you can run either out-doors or in-door. Running out-doors especially in a park is great because you do not get bored and the scenes and people around you keep your mind occupied as you run.

Running is a cardiovascular exercise that over time will bring you rich benefits

in the form of optimal blood pressure, increased lung capacity i.e. more oxygenated blood, positive changes to body composition (less flab), improved cholesterol levels, healthier heart and finally, the release of endorphin hormone during exercising, makes you feel nice, happy and very energetic. You feel you can take on the whole world and that nothing can stop you from achieving whatever you want.

Does running help you lose weight – the answer is, “not directly”.

When you run, your body utilizes energy. If you replace the energy you utilized (by eating food) then you won’t lose or gain weight. On the other hand, if you have utilized (say) 500 calories of energy in a run, and you consume 1,700 calories worth of food during the day, then (assuming your daily need is 2,000 calories), you end up with 800 calorie energy deficit.

To make up for this deficit, the body will burn 800 calories worth of fat and you end up losing weight. Running therefore is utilization of energy and muscles. Whether you lose or gain weight depends on the quantum of food you eat before or after the run.

Here’s how to calculate calories utilized in a run.

A lot of people use the treadmill. However, we need to remember, that the treadmill usually does not take your weight or age or gender into account. The more your weight, the more energy you will burn per kilometer / mile of running. Also, the calories you burn would depend on your heart rate. For example, if you run on a flat surface your heart rate will be lower than if you were to run on an incline. Other factors include your gender, age and weight.

Here is a simple formula men can use (weight in pounds)

Calories Burned = ((Age x 0.2017) – (Weight x 0.09036) + (Heart Rate x 0.6309) – 55.0969) x (Time / 4.184).

Here is a simple formula women can use (weight in pounds)

Calories Burned = ((Age x 0.074) – (Weight x 0.05741) + (Heart Rate x 0.4472) – 20.4022) x (Time / 4.184)

So finally, to answer your question “does running help you lose weight” the answer is “yes,

it will help you lose weight provided you create a minor energy deficit so your body can burn stored fat”.